What has been done:The assessment of Cameroon's business environment was conducted using three sources of information and data: a survey of Cameroonian enterprises, indicators and data from secondary sources, and national consultations. Its principal focus was to identify the key constraints that hinder the sustainable development of enterprises in Cameroon and to serve, subsequently as the basis for reflection in defining a strategy for reforms to improve the business environment . The evaluation exercise covered all categories of business and offers a differentiated view of the firms’ constraints by: firm size, the sector of economic activity and the geographical locations.
The Survey and its sample:The enterprise survey for Cameroon was conducted between May and July 2012 and produced a comprehensive data set of survey results. This survey was the largest enterprise survey of this kind that has been conducted in the country; it covered 500 enterprises. It was coordinated by AMOUGOU, René Aymar Bertrand, a statistician specialist in surveys. The statistical analysis was prepared by Ernst & Young, Paris. To cover the country, a team of survey personnel was established in cooperation with a set of survey specialist, the ILO and it also involved discussions with the National Statistical Institute. The data was collected through face to face interviews. The questionnaire investigated the 17 factors of the environmental assessment criteria.
The objective was to apply a minimum of 400 questionnaires including 250 questionnaires from medium and large businesses as it was decided to over-represent medium and large firms given their small presence in the economy. To meet the quotas estimating a minimum response rate of 50, the sample was fixed to 800 firms.
The statistical analysis of responses from 500 companies to the evaluation of the business environment survey. The results present the constraints on business development expressed during the investigation. Econometric analysis of these companies highlights their main characteristics and factors that promote informality. The businesses surveyed are representative of the Cameroonian economy, however, for primary sector enterprises, small and micro business units are less present in the sample and for these business groups, the resulting statistics have an illustrative value only.
Results:The findings of the overall evaluation were presented, discussed and validated at a tripartite national workshop held in Yaoundé in November 2013. The 2013 publications containing the assessment results are the following: (1) Assessment of the Business Environment and (2) National Enterprise Survey: analysis of results. The issues analysed in the assessment report conform to the 17 criteria identified by the International Labour Conference (2007) of the ILO in promoting sustainable enterprises and decent work.
Issues related to regional integration emerge throughout the assessment. Cameroon is already a key player in the Central African regional integration and, in many areas related to the business environment, the country will certainly be expected to become one of the spearheads of the modernization process and Reform within the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).
In the light of the constraints and measures identified by the analysis, the reform strategy was developed and recommends a series of concrete measures. The key barriers are particularly focused on the following areas: access to financial services; red tape; Corporate taxation; regulations and customs procedures; support services for business development and entrepreneurial initiatives; infrastructure (water and electricity); and the low qualification of the workforce (employees and employers).